In a press conference on Thursday, Crystal Pepper appeared on national television to report how her father, Dr. David Dao, was doing after he was filmed being forcibly removed from a United flight by security. Crystal Pepper, Dao's daughter, stated in the press conference that she and her family were "horrified and shocked and sickened to learn what had happened to him, and to see what had happened to him."
"Seeing it on video made those emotions exacerbated," Pepper said to the press. "My dad is healing right now."
On April 9, Dao, an internal medicine specialist, boarded a United flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. United allegedly needed to make room on the full flight for four "must-fly" employees who needed to board to get a downline connection. After no passengers volunteered to give up their seats for the $800 United was offering, four people were randomly chosen to give up their seats, one of whom was Dr. Dao. He refused to leave the plane, however, stating he had to return to Louisville to see patients. He was filmed being taken off the plane by security officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation, as other passengers protested his treatment. Two days later, United Airlines' CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement on the incident, claiming "we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right."
Dao's family attorney, Thomas A. Demetrio, also participated in the press conference, and offered insight into what happened to Dao during the incident.
"He did in fact suffer a significant concussion as a result of disembarking that plane," Demetrio claimed. "I can also tell you that he had a serious broken nose, injury to the sinuses, and he is going to be undergoing shortly reconstructive surgery."
Demetrio claimed that Dao lost two front teeth during the incident as well. "He's shaken," he said.
"We would like to express our gratitude for the huge outpouring of prayers, love, and concern that we have received from all over the world for these past few days," Pepper said. "It has been a very difficult time for our entire family, especially my dad, and we are truly grateful for all of your support. What happened to my dad should never happen to any human being, regardless of the circumstance."
According to the Daily Mail, Pepper is a married mother, living in Barrington, Illinois. She has four other siblings who are doctors, including Christine, her twin sister.